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Wednesday, 18 June 2008 06:23

Internet coffee maker has security holes

Written by David Stellmack

Image

Can be exploited by hackers

A consumer with a lot of extra cash to spend on a coffee maker purchased an Internet-connected coffee maker that links to his PC. The Swiss-made Jura F90 coffee maker cost Craig Wright, a Sydney, Australia risk advisory services manager, $2,000 on Amazon.com.

The Internet-connected appliance was advertised as allowing remote control over the coffee strength and brewing time, as well as providing access to remote help services without having to send the coffee pot in for service.

What Wright discovered, however, was that the coffee maker’s software had security “holes” and a buffer overflow in the Internet connection software that could allow a remote hacker to access his Windows XP-based computer, as well as ruin the taste of his coffee. He has posted the vulnerabilities, but there is no patch available yet.

Internet-connected appliances are considered the wave of the future. Whirlpool has a new side-by-side refrigerator that stores and recharges electronic devices such as the iGo, offers an iPod connection with built-in speakers, has a digital photo frame, an ambient Web-enabled weather forecast for up to 150 U.S. cities, a family message center and a kitchen computer, all in the outside door of its new centralpark connection refrigerator, that was previously showcased at CES. Whirlpool is also working on an oven that can be controlled remotely by a cell phone.

However, with hacking a lurking possibility, the remote oven might overheat and burn down the house remotely. These are great ideas, but are perhaps not quite ready for ordinary consumer use yet.

View the centralpark connection refrigerator here.

Last modified on Wednesday, 18 June 2008 07:24

David Stellmack

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